The best budgeting apps in the UK: How to budget without trying

5 min Read Published: 15 Jun 2021

bestbudgetingappsThe best way to manage your finances is through budgeting and now is the time to start. Everything is now accessible through your smartphone, including the world of banking, meaning that you can budget effectively from your phone too. Many budgeting apps now can connect electronically to your bank accounts to collate them all in one place so it makes it easier to manage your spending and budgeting effectively, without having to flip through a number of different mobile banking apps. Below we take a look at some of the best budgeting apps that will help you get your finances in shape.

Best free budgeting apps

Emma - Best for finding wasteful subscriptions

  • Groups all of your accounts together in one place
  • Helps you to avoid using your overdraft and pay off any debt
  • Monthly savings prompts to keep your budgeting on track
  • Allows you to set budget goals
  • Helps cut down unnecessary spending by highlighting wasteful subscriptions
  • Offers savings advice and recommends an affordable amount to save each month based on your budget

Yolt - Best for tracking your spending

  • View all of your accounts in one place
  • Prepaid debit card for spending
  • Track your spending and set realistic spending targets using spending reports
  • See charts that highlight your spending history
  • Easily transfer money between different accounts
  • Set budget goals and track your bills

Money Dashboard - Best for helping you budget for future goals

  • Voted the Best Personal Finance App in 2017, 2018 & 2020
  • Automatically categorises transactions
  • Dashboard to clearly see the categories of your spending, shown in various graphs
  • Allows you to set multiple budgets with notifications of overspending
  • Allows you to plan your finances and budget for the future
  • Shows all of your transactions on all accounts in one place

Best paid for budgeting apps

Moneyhub - Best for data privacy

  • Gain insights into your spending habits via a spending analysis tool
  • See all of your accounts in one place
  • Set spending goals
  • Receive notifications that remind you when bills are due
  • Ability to seek financial help or advice if needed
  • Subscription required - 99p per month

Budgeting through a bank

Budgeting apps are a great way to control your finances but now there is the opportunity to budget via digital-only banks. Below we have listed banks that have the same or similar features to many of the above apps alongside their own fully functional personal bank accounts.

Monzo - Best for budgeting

  • Can be used with Apple/Samsung/Google pay
  • Set spending budgets
  • Clear and easy summary of spending
  • Instant notifications
  • Set up direct debits and standing orders
  • Pay people easily
  • Avoid unnecessary fees when spending abroad
  • Effortless savings feature that allows you to round up payments to the nearest pound, the pennies get added to a 'savings pot'
  • Withdraw cash abroad with no fees (monthly limit of £200)

Starling Bank - Best for round-up saving

  • Voted Best British Bank and Best Current Account 2020
  • Allows multiple savings goals all in one place
  • Real-time updates to track daily spending quickly
  • Get notifications on payment-related activity
  • Gain spending insights on your spending activity
  • Rounds up your spending to the nearest pound and the money is automatically put into a savings pot.
  • Speed up your savings by electing to increase the amount that rounds up each purchase. You can choose x2, x5 or x10
  • Fee-free spending when travelling abroad including cash withdrawals

Revolut - Best for travelling abroad

  • Built-in budgeting
  • Round up your spending to the nearest pound and the money is automatically put into a savings pot
  • Instant spending notifications
  • Spend money abroad with no fees
  • Withdraw cash abroad fee-free (monthly limit applies)
  • Although Revolut operates as a bank, it is still waiting for its UK banking licence to be approved and so your money is not currently covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)